These guys needed a strong play to follow up the mess that was 2009’s The Sucker Punch Show. There was a sucker punch alright, and it was (get ready…wait for it……) right to the listener’s stomach! Ba-dum-tssshhh! It was messy, boring, and all over the place. Sure, there were some decent tracks here and there, but overall, it was a major disappointment.
The three year break must have done them some good, because this effort rivals 2004’s debut, Pretend You’re Alive, except on an even larger scale. The sound is much more expansive and less jagged. A lot of these songs could fill arenas, while previous records were more suited for clubs and bars. Wild Blood showcases countless hooks, and front man Michael Sheppard has always had, to me anyway, such a unique tone to his voice to sing pop/rock music. The lyrics can be somewhat sappy at times, but open your heart, tear your walls down, and let yourself feel something here. See the wonderful ballad, Girl. “I wanna light myself on fire / I spent thirty years not knowing you / I can’t afford to waste more time running ‘round the world / When all I know is / You’re my girl”. Sappy? To an extent. But did he get that girl? You better believe he did.
There’s also a great variety of topics here instead of simple “being in love” songs, even though they all tie back to it somehow. From the girl that’s simply using you when the other lovers leave, to the girl who’s passed on to the other side, to the girl who’s gonna be the one you walk down the aisle with for the first and last time – it’s a refreshing mix.
If you had to listen to two tracks: Premonition / Ladders